- We need to be in the right place at the right time: in fishing, it may be the right part of a lake or river, or maybe near a nice weed bed or drop off. When trying to reach people it is keeping our eyes open to the changing tides of their lives. We have opportunity to reach people when they are in transition. A new job, a new baby, a move, marriage, or a death in the family often make people open to spiritual things.
- We need to go where they are: I have not had fish just come to me yet. When you go fishing, you have to pack your gear and go to a lake or river. When you get there, you have to find the place they are biting and go. Only recent stories of the growing Asian Carp in the Illinois River are exception, as they jump out of the water to attack people in their boats. Usually we will have to go to people. People will not just stop by our homes and say, ‘I want to become a Christian.’ We need to be with people in order to have opportunity to save them.
- Use attractive Bait: In fishing, you have to change your bait depending on many factors. In the spring, you can use hatching larva, but in summer months you may need to use bait that looks like grown bugs. We must realize that our lives are the attraction to people. This is true of the life of a believer, and of the church. In both church body and individual, we must be attractive. It is not likely that you will be able to use the same technique with a seventy-year-old widow that you would with a twenty-year-old college student. Good anglers study the area they are trying to fish, and good witnesses study before inviting people to Jesus.
- Use the right Equipment: Similar to having bait you need to have good equipment for the fish you are going after. You would not fish for one hundred pound shark on a two-pound fresh water line. When we know we are going into witness to a person who is less open we may want to prepare with some Apologetic resources. We are not going to dump deep theological questions on a young child, but we may if the person has already done some deep research and has questions. Be ready for the challenge you are facing.
- Close the net: It is vital to close the net or pull the net up at just the right moment. If you move to quick, it will scare a fish away. If you move too slowly, the fish may see you and swim past. In our witness to others there will come a moment when we must ask the question of whether they are saved and whether they want to be in Christ’s family. Do not miss that moment. We must ask the question and close the net at that time, or we will miss the opportunity.
- Patience and trust in the Holy Spirit: The hardest part of fishing for most people is the wait. Many people in our busy world cannot fish, because it is too stressful on them to remain calm and quiet. This is true of many Christian witnesses too. They cannot wait upon the Lord to tell them when or how to speak. They cannot wait upon the person being ready to accept the Lord. They sometimes push so hard that the person breaks away and runs. We must be patient in the Holy Spirit and move when we feel His calling.
I encourage you to get out and drop your fishing lines for Christ. If you have not had a lot of luck lately, have patience and trust that God will guide you to the right person. Keep your eyes open and sometimes the opportunity will be a surprise right before you. God bless, and happy fishing.
- Keep on the journey with Jesus today.